laika studios for wired

You know that feeling you got as a child when you entered a new world for the first time?  Maybe it was your first movie theater experience,  or the first time you camped under the stars, or your first trip to an amusement park.  Those moments leave indelible memories that are difficult to quantify.  When I entered the Laika studios,  I was immediately hooked.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I guess in my mind I assumed that a stop motion film wouldn’t be so large scale,  but the warehouse was huge and there were 6-8 sets elaborately staged.  This is a massive production to say the least.

I also quickly realized what a labor of love it must be to be part of the Laika team.  All the people I met and photographed were just so passionate about their roles.  Whether it be set design, costume design, animation, 3d printing + painting, etc – everyone seemed so committed.  The man behind it all is lead animator and CEO, Travis Knight (photo above).

Aside from animating some of the scenes himself,  Travis is the man that makes sure it all comes together.  He was a pleasure to meet and photograph.

Oliver Jones – animation rigging supervisor.

A deconstructed view of ‘Eggs’ – the main character in the upcoming Boxtrolls film.

The archive of all the 3D printed faces.  Organization is key.

You need a face that says ‘tough guy’, ‘introspective’, ‘worried’, ‘perplexed’?  No problem.

It takes a village.

Georgina Hayns – creative supervisor of puppet fabrication.


The details of all the creations are extraordinary.

Deborah Cook – costume designer


Brad Schiff – animation supervisor

Diane Lopez – set fabrication coordinator

The set dressing team.

The sewer scene.

I am extremely thankful for this opportunity! Thanks to Julia and Anna at Wired for setting me loose.  Thanks to Sara Crowley – the awesome PA that escorted me the whole day as I continually got lost in the labyrinth. Thanks to my assistant, Brian for hanging in there on a long day and keeping a good attitude.

This job really did leave me amazed at what a creative team can accomplish.  I’m looking forward to the release on 9.26.14!  Check out the Boxtrolls trailer here.


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